Kelly: Battle Cowboy Ribeye
The Chairman has spent a boatload of cash
installing new grills and summoning a panel of grill mates. All we need
now is a challenger...
The Challenger: Peter Xavier Kelly, the 10th of 12 children. At 23,
he opened his own place in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Now he
owns several restaurants, including Xaviaras, and he produces his own
California wine. Today, he challenges the grill master of the Iron
Chefs, Bobby Flay
The Crib Sheet:
Neil Manacle & Dan Mihalko, sous-chefs
James Kelly & Kathy Egan, sous-chefs
The theme ingredient:
cowboy rib-eye, select cuts.
And Battle Cowboy Ribeye is ON! Cowboy ribeye is not
steak cut from cowboys, but refers to a very thick slab
of beef with at least one of those ribs still in place.
The Iron Chef looks like he's going the chile route.
Now to the new grills that the Chairman installed on
both kitchens. Infrared grills burn hotter than your
standard grills, because the flame is focused on a
ceramic plate with thousands of microscopic pores that
convert the flame into indirect heat that cook the food
The IC is breaking down the rib primal into some thick
cuts. Meanwhile Kathy is breaking down maitakes and
boiling lobsters. Challenger is also making slab bacon.
Two notes: Both sides also have precut steaks available
to them just in case, and the beef being used today is
wagyu, also known as "American Kobe beef."
Fifteen minutes into the battle, and the challenger is
skewering langoustine tails, boiling lobster, and
sautéing crab meat, while the Iron Chef is making a
milk-based béchamel sauce, a mix of tomatillos & red
onions, and a lobster sauce. With that, cucumbers,
shallots, and green papayas are awaiting their
applications as is trumpet mushroom. Challenger has a
popover mix, baby fennel, and cremini mushrooms on
Culinary author and judge Ted Allen ("Top Chef")
Culinary journalist Karine Bakhoum (KB Network News)
Designer/talk show host Isaac Mizrahi
"Thirty minutes have elapsed." Black trumpet mushrooms
turns into fire on the IC's side, while the crawfish
bite Flay back. He also has various sauces to counter
the challenger's tomato with crabmeat, center cut roast,
and ribeye carpaccio or shabu-shabu... but Flay has no
meat on the grill as of yet.
What he does have, though, are lemon and tarragon added
to his béarnaise sauce, boiled potatoes, and New Mexico
chile sauce. Kelly's blue cheese sauce is put in a
foamer, while his round cuts are off the heat and put
into the blast chiller. The challenger is making maki
rolls out of his pounded ribeye.
More about the theme ingredient: right in the middle of
our cow are the ribs, extremely tender. The chuck
contains the first six ribs, also extremely tender.
Dan is making some mashed potatoes, while Flay is
calling for a spice rub. The Kelly brothers are breaking
up lobster tails and making steak tartares. And the Iron
Chef finally makes with the grilling with twenty minutes
to go. Fifteen minutes to go, and Flay is starting to
plate while all of his meat is on the grills. Challenger
is prepping his ribeye maki roll with langoustine and a
brown-sugar cut. And mushrooms abound. Contrasting to
Flay's fiery approach, Kelly is taking a more subtle
approach with quail egg on steak tartare, maki rolls,
and baby fennels on plates.
Kelly is working on the applications of all five of his
dishes at once, while the Iron Chef is plating by sauce.
Looking at the Iron Chef, he's got steak and eggs, steak
and mashed potatoes, thin strips salad, surf & turf, and
his own vision of the Philly cheesesteak.
Kelly has steak and chickpea fries, steak & mushroom
custard, porcini-stuffed crepe, bandanna steaks with
popovers, carpaccio with potato salad, and maki roll.
And now we're down to the countdown... "Five seconds...
three... two... one..." Put it down, walk away, Battle
Cowboy Ribeye is OVER!
Judgment (Kelly): "I knew it was going to be a
battle. I used the grill to subtlely impart the flavors
of the grill."
- Trio of Ribeye (tartare, chive crepe, mushroom flan)
- Grilled Ribeye Negimaki
- Surf & Turf: Ribeye Carpaccio
- Bisteca alla Fiorentina
- Grilled Cowboy Steak
The trio works well together. The next two dishes don't
strike Karine or Isaac well. Ted, meanwhile, is very
Judgment (Flay): "I usually don't used subtle
flavors. When I noticed that it was cowboy ribeye, I
wasn't going to start then. It screams out big bold
- Hoisin Glazed Ribeye Salad
- Grilled Ribeye with Bearnaise and Crawfish Sauce
- Ode to Philly Cheesesteak
- Spice Rubbed and Grilled Steak with Mashed Potatoes
- Southwest Style Chile Glazed Ribeye
Ted likes the contrast between the meat and the
vegetables. Isaac thought that the sauced brought out
the flavors of the meat. Karine likes the steak as the
But whose cuisine reigns supreme?
... 51-48 upset in favor
of Challenger Peter Xavier Kelly. Both chefs were tops
in originality, but when it came to taste and
presentation, it was certainly Peter Kelly's to lose.
And in the VIP box, the entire Kelly family is smiling
as to hail their hero, who bested the best of the best
on his own medium. As for Bobby Flay, one defeat is not
going to place his reputation at "steak".
Until next time, I bid you good eating.